Scott Hogan joined Sheffield United on loan for the rest of the season, with Dean Smith admitting in a pre-match press conference that Tammy Abraham and Jonathan Kodjia were ahead of the 26-year-old in the pecking order and would have to suffer a serious dip in form to lose their place to Hogan.
Despite being brought in from the cold by Smith in October, opportunities have been few and far between at Aston Villa. Hogan made only seven appearances in all competitions this season, amassing a paltry 68 minutes of Championship, so a move away from Villa Park will allow him to get regular football.
But with Yannick Bolasie’s loan move cut short, Kodjia stands a good chance of starting in a wide role for Villa, meaning they’ll be no striker on the bench to call upon. Smith will instead have to look at Keinan Davis.
Abraham has scored 19 goals in 23 league games since joining Villa on loan from Chelsea, while Kodjia has contributed eight goals in 17 league starts. Hogan hasn’t scored a goal this season and hadn’t featured for the Midlands outfit in their last six Championship outings as Kodjia would come off the bench ahead of him.
Smith had left Hogan out of the matchday squad in their last two games, but Villa could suffer if they are relying on inexperienced youngsters to change the game from the bench. Sheffield United should be a good move for the centre-forward, but he still had a bit-part role to play at Villa Park.